Denver recruit Demin soaks in experience of All-American Prospects Game

deminBUFFALO, N.Y. — The purpose of the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game is to showcase young talent in the draft year for the NHL scouts.

To be selected to this game is an honor.

Knowing your school is getting one of these players is exciting.

Denver will be awaiting the arrival of defenseman Slava Demin, most likely in the fall of 2019.

Demin got an assist on the second goal for Team (Brian) Leetch in their 6-5 victory over Team (Chris) Chelios at the KeyBank Center Thursday night.

It was the type of assist every team loves to see their defenseman perform.

First, Demin picked up a poor clearing pass at the left point. He moved in, surveying the situation. Patiently, he realized he didn’t have a shot, so he dished it off to Ryan Savage (Miami commit) to the right down low. Savage easily redirected it past goaltender Drew DeRidder (Michigan State commit).

“The puck was coming down the slot and I came down and kept my head up,” Demin said. “I saw the net, saw the guys were in the way, and then I saw a wide-open stick, so I just tried to move it to the wide-open guy and just try to get a goal for our team. I saw the open guy and made the pass.”

That one play essentially describes what Denver was looking for when they recruited Demin — a good skating, puck moving defenseman with some offense in his game.

Demin was born in Cypress, Calif., and played his youth hockey mostly for the Anaheim Jr. Ducks. He then moved northward to play junior hockey for the Wenatchee Wild, located well over two hours east of Seattle, Wash. The team plays in the British Columbia Hockey League.

He went there as a 16-year-old, the youngest player on the team (everybody else was born before 2000), and more than held his own. In 53 games last season, he registered five goals (four of them on the power play) and 22 assists for 27 points. He also added a goal and four assists in 10 playoff games.

Taking a break from the tough grind of junior hockey was a welcomed pleasure for Demin.

“It was a great experience,” Demin said of the Prospects game. “Just getting to play with some of the top players in the age group for the upcoming draft, you can measure yourself against the top players in the country. It’s a good way to kick off the season.”

Demin will be concentrating on his second season at Wenatchee before worrying about Denver.

“Right now, I’m focused on just my game and trying to get better,” said Demin. “Hopefully, to make sure when I come in there, I can be a good player and a positive player for them. I’m really excited to go there. A great coaching staff.”

Entered junior hockey younger than any player on his team.

Skilled enough to be selected to the Prospects game.

Already committed to Denver.

Demin has a very bright future awaiting him.

“When Denver saw me, they thought I played a really good game,” explained Demin. “I moved pucks well, used my skating and abilities, and was just a positive player all over the ice.”

Exactly what he did in the Prospects game.

Exactly what Denver fans hope to cheer.


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